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Lauren - Hello everyone


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My name is Lauren, I'm 36 years old and I'm 15 months post cranitomy, I acquired my brain injury whilst skating. I was rushed to hospital in a very critical condition,I have no recollection of much around that time. I used to be very fit and healthy and busy but now feel so isolated and hopeless.

I was given no info on leaving hospital about what to expect post op and it's been an incredibly hard ride. I have accessed the brain injury team and Headway and they're great but you can't replace that first hand experience from other survivors. Just reading a few threads on here already has put my mind at ease about the crazy sensations I get sometimes. I am suffering quite badly with anxiety and depression and would love to hear some positivity. It does get better right?

I'm so scared of everything, I can't seem to push myself out of the door and I know by avoiding things I am making myself worse, any tips on motivating yourself to do things when you are terrified?

Edited by Tina
Added name to title :)
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Hi Lauren

Welcome to the site and to the family.

Anxiety is very common and only to be expected, so don't beat yourself up about that. The only advice I can give is that even the smallest step is an achievement. Try just walking to the end of the street at first and then, as you feel more confident, try to walk a little further each day.

I also used to confuse anticipation and excitement with anxiety (sometime still do it now). Sit down, ask yourself realistically what is the worse that could happen and then go for it - like I said earlier - little steps are just as rewarding as huge leaps. You will get there eventually and it does get better for most (I can't promise as we're not all the same).

We're all here to support and encourage you every step of the way - good luck.

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Hi Lauren :) a very warm welcome to BTG.

Sami is right, anxiety is very common. Many of us here have and are suffering from anxiety after a brain trauma.

Like you I was scared to go anywhere on my own. I was never like this before. I actually opened my front door wide so I could see indoors and walked slowly to the end of my drive and back....I was so scared and shaky, but I did it. There was a letter box a little further up and after a few times of walking to the end of my drive and on my good days, I reached it :).

As Sami says....small steps. Do you have a neighbour, family or friend that lives near by ? You could arrange to meet them half way, even if only 1 or 2 doors away. Have your mobile phone with you as back up. I also did this. It does get better. Just take your time. You will get there Lauren :) Take care.

Edited by Tina
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Hi Lauren

welcome to BTG. Tough times but I truly hope and beleive that things get better.

I never understood anxiety and its crippling effects before my SAH but now I do. Mine comes on like a speeding train sometimes and the very real physical symptoms that accompany it are scary for me BUT it helps me to remember that the symptoms are just that, a natural and very proper chemical reaction by our bodies to prepare us for whatever we are about to do , it just has got a little out of proportion at judging what the threat is.

I find telling myself that helps. So I have a little inner chat that goes something like this " its okay, my body is just sending some chemicals around which is why I feel so jangly, it wont hurt me, let my worry and fears be small and drift away". I then try and shift or change what I am doing and do something completely different in distraction. I dont know if that is good or not but it does help me most times.

Like the others have said, baby steps will get you to where you want to be. Its not a race, there's no contest or prize so take your time and praise yourself when you do something that maybe you have avoided until now.

Edited by Daffodil
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I am fortunate not to have suffered to the same extent, I think that is down to my philosophy that when you number is up, it's up.

The fact you survived means that it was not your time. I am unfortunate to have lost a lot of friends and family, one of my biggest loses was a very dear friend almost ten years ago, he was 44, same age I am now. He always had high blood pressure but one day came home from work, sat in the garden with his wife and kids, he said that he wasn't feeling well and was going for a lay down, he made three steps and collapsed.

Massive coronary, they say he was dead before he hit the floor. That made me make some life changes, we moved from Yorkshire to Somerset, I took a few steps back career wise and thought I would be happy.

Reality was I missed the cut and thrust, what I was made to do and be so to speak. So now I am further along my career and enjoying it. Don't get me wrong, what has happened to me has put a few things in perspective, and we are forced to make changes, but you can't wrap yourself in cotton wool and lock yourself away. You have been given a second chance embrace it, take each day as it comes and do what you feel comfortable doing, a walk round the garden, to the shops, to the pub, or just standing with the door open and getting some fresh air,

Have the courage to take the first step, then another, believe in yourself..

It will get better. Unfortunately no one can do it for you.

Edited by penny
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Hi there & warm welcome to the site, glad you found us.

Yep its a very common thing, I did similar to Tina, just a little then back indoors then a bit more then back & telling myself it was ok I was fine I was doing it...

My first time on a bus, I went to meet my husband from his work, he meet me as I got off the bus we crossed the road and got on the bus home, sounds daft but the joy I felt at that was fantastic.

little baby steps but for me they were huge strides...

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Thanks everyone,

I try the baby steps and seem to make progress and then I get a setback and end up consumed by the anxiety again. It's frustrating.

I think being able to come onto this forum will help as I have been very alone. I live with my partner but I moved here to Belfast a month before my injury so have been unable to make any social connections.

I just want to be able to start putting this behind me now.

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Hi Lauren,

Welcome to BTG.

You have overcome the biggest hurdle, now you need to calm (easier said than done).

Stress does us no good, so my surgeon told me, so I'll pass it on to you "Do Not Stress"

Always have a water with you and some sweets so if you get dry mouthed either suck a mint or have a drink of

water and remember you are in charge/Boss of your body.

Panics are horrid but keep positive and do not let them beat you.

Good luck and remember you are in charge not the dry mouth etc. etc.

Be Well

WinB143 xx xx

Edited by Winb143
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Hi Lauren,

To know who I was before my injury was to know a person that was very independent and if I was afraid of something I faced it and conquered. Well, one week after I came home from the hospital my husband had to go back to work and I had to start putting our daughter (8 yrs old) on the bus for school. I freaked out and cried like a baby. Such a simple task but I was terrified of doing it by myself and being by myself. I did it tough. It was a giant step at the time and even now!

Take that step toward living your life. :)


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